The Boston Ski and Snowboard Expo kicks off Thursday at the Seaport World Trade Center with the usual slate of events, freebies, and deals awaiting a skiing and riding crowd that is ever-anxious for the season to get going in earnest. The four-day event goes a long way to satisfying those cravings, putting skiers and riders in a winter mentality that will no doubt get them ready for the season.
Meanwhile, the thought process is a bit different in New York and New Jersey, still suffering from the effects of super storm Sandy. So, Vermont ski areas, which know a thing or two about natural disaster thanks to Irene's wrath last year, are offering ski show attendees a way to help out and get something in return.
Everyone who makes a minimum $10 donation to the Red Cross (Text "REDCROSS" to 90999), or gives at www.redcross.org,will receive a voucher for either free or discounted lift ticket, entrance into a grand prize ski and stay package, and a coupon for a free pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream (while supplies last). In addition, Sugarbush will match all donations dollar-for-dollar up to a maximum total of $25,000, and Long Trail Brewing will match the first fifty $10 donations.
To be eligible for prizes, ski show donors must show a Ski Vermont representative the validating SMS response or email from the American Red Cross dated Nov. 5 - 11 at the expo. (They're usually hard to miss, as Ski Vermont generally takes up a large area in the center of the floor).
Okemo is also helping out as well. The resort in Ludlow, which saw some of the worst of Irene in 2011, will give the first 1,000 people who make a donation of at least $50 over Thanksgiving weekend will receive one complimentary midweek one-day adult lift ticket. The resort hopes to raise $50,000 in relief funds.
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.